U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria rejected a settlement deal between Lyft and a group of drivers seeking to be designated as employees rather than independent contractors. The ride-sharing service, which expressed disappointment in Judge Chhabria’s determination last week, will now likely face a trial similar to larger rival Uber Technologies Inc.’s fight against its California drivers set for June. The judge previously questioned the math behind the settlement before rejecting it, questioning whether the deal, which allots $53 to each driver for mileage reimbursement but leaves their independent contractor status intact, is adequate. In his ruling Thursday that encouraged the company and the plaintiffs’ counsel to try drafting a new agreement, Judge Chhabria said the modest non-monetary benefits in the settlement don’t make up for the “serious defects in the monetary aspect.” The fact that Lyft’s revenue has exploded in California since the data period from which the settlement was drawn was also a concern for the judge.
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